ABS Thursday Notes- February 15, 2024

Published for the Arts Based School Community

February 15, 2024


No School- Monday, February 19-President’s Day


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“You got to give a little love, have a little hope

Make this world a little better.

Try a little more, harder than before

Let’s do what we can do together…”

  • Ziggy Marley song: Give a Little Love

The Arts Based School fourth graders performed two songs of welcome and optimism today, when the ribbon was finally cut to open the new Kaleideum downtown. They danced, drummed, and sang with well-rehearsed expertise and radiance, personifying the curiosity and youthful energy that inspired the creation of the magnificent new space that describes itself as “an innovative and dynamic experiential learning museum.” 

While the grown-ups sat outside in the frosty air, listening to long (and well-deserved) speeches of thanks and congratulations to other grown-ups, Kaleideum provided a big indoor space and bins of cool toys for our students to tinker with, while they waited. They were nervous and excited, but well prepared by dance teacher Ms. Rains and music teacher “Mrs. B” Boudreault. They had even performed the whole act in the lunch room at school, the day before. They were ready.

When the time came to cut the ribbon…where was the ribbon? There was no ribbon. A drone whirred overhead. It slowly descended, dangling a spool of ribbon, and delivered it to a robot dog. A second robot dog grasped an end of the ribbon in its weird pincers and, wobbling on spindly legs, stretched it across the audience. The ribbon was ceremoniously clipped, and the announcer proclaimed: “Now that you have had a demonstration of innovation, you’ll experience a taste of the arts. Fourth graders from The Arts Based School will be performing songs of welcome as you enter the building.”

Our students were all in turquoise Arts Based School shirts, lined up precisely, drummers seated center, the rhythm thumping as people flowed into the lobby. As the students sang out “Funga alafia!” a small group of them stepped forward and performed African dance steps. Next, the whole group sang out the Ziggy Marley song Give a Little Love, their bright young voices jubilant and clear.

The 4th graders did not visit the new exhibits today, they will do that in May, when they will have an entire day to explore. Today, they focused on contributing positive words and energy to the community, as we celebrated something beautiful and new in our town. More than ever, isn’t this what we need?

Conference Time is Coming

Soon your child’s teacher will be setting up conferences to discuss your child’s progress.  Students attending the Arts Based School are assessed using a portfolio system in place of the traditional report card.  The portfolio is designed to illustrate a student’s academic growth and successes as well as guide the teacher in planning appropriate instruction.  Teachers at ABS do not issue letter grades until 6th grade. Teachers use observation, interviews, analysis of student work and performance tasks to assess student understanding.  Examples of student work, as well as other objective standards of assessments are incorporated into the student’s portfolio to give an enhanced portrait of the student’s progress.  These portfolios will be discussed and presented to parents during the Student-Teacher-Parent conferences. Please be sure you schedule and attend your conference so that you can support your child’s learning. 

Conference Days

  • March 8- Early Dismissal
    • K-4 Dismiss at 11:45
    • 5-8 Dismiss at 12 noon
  • March 11 No School

Lottery Results!

On Tuesday, we held our annual lottery for admission! Families who applied have now received notification of their placement. This year, we received 408 applications for roughly 90 openings across our two campuses. We extend a warm welcome and congratulations to all of our new friends joining ABS! 


February Raffle Winners

Congratulations to our January Asst Principals for the Day- Evelyn Price and Shelby Whiteheart.  Each will spend a day shadowing the Principal and taking the care of the important duties of the day. We hold drawings every month at Friday Sing! You can purchase raffle tickets online to give your child a chance to be Assistant Principal of the Day. Assistant Principals have their own desk, name tag, and list of very important duties for the day. All proceeds from the raffle support our teacher appreciation fund and allow us to do special things for our staff throughout the year. Thank you, and good luck!


Volunteer Opportunity

Earn double hours by helping strike the Romeo & Juliet set! Immediately after the noon performance by Mr. Tate’s class on Friday, February 23, we will move the set pieces back to the basement. Many hands make light work! Please plan to join us at about 12:45 in the theater. 


Tap Shoes Donations Needed

The Rap-A-Tap-Tap Initiative is here! Our Kindergarteners will start their tap unit in April and we are looking for donations of tap shoes from sizes 11 to 2 in kids' shoes. If you have old tap shoes or wish to donate, please bring them to Ms. Lauren, Dance Teacher at South or Ms. Rains, Dance Teacher at North.

Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids (CCCK)

ABS is participating in the state’s effort to ensure all schools are free from lead and asbestos through the Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids program.  The state is provided free testing and if necessary remediation for all public schools.  We have begun the process by identifying all taps used for drinking and/or cooking preparation within the ABS-North campus.  We will collect samples from these taps and send them to the state for processing.  We expect to receive our test kits soon and will keep families and staff informed of the process and results.  The ABS-South campus is leased from WSFC which will conduct it’s own testing.  For more information, visit  www.cleanwaterforuskids.com/carolina

Partnership with Real Time Crime Center

ABS is working together with the WS Police Dept’s Real Time Crime Center to add an extra layer of communication and safety between the school and law enforcement.  We have provided our floor plans to the center as well as direct access to our security cameras at all our locations.


2024 ABS Summer Camps

Registration is now OPEN for Summer Camps! Please follow the link below to register. Click on the title of the camp that you would like to register for and fill out the Google Form. Invoices will be sent following registration to secure your spots! Check out the updated FAQ!
2024 ABS Summer Camp Registration

 Contact Ashley Tate at [email protected] with any questions. 


Parent Satisfaction Survey

If you haven't already, please take a minute to let us know what you think. Please follow the link ArtsBasedSchoolsurvey to a 10-question online survey about our school. Your responses are completely anonymous and help us determine what's working well and what needs more work! Please take a few minutes to complete and submit. Thank you!


School Calendar 2024-25

The ABS Board of Directors is considering the school calendar for 2024-25.   The WSFC school board adopted a significantly different calendar with an earlier start date and spring break in March.  In response to these changes,  the School Leadership team has created additional calendar options for ABS.   Please review and consider these options and provide your feedback here.  Thanks!

Updated Version 1

Updated Version 2

Updated Version 3


News from Parent Council

PC Meeting Reminder: 

Please join us for the next Parent Council meeting of the school year on Friday, February 16 at 8:30am in the MLK Cafe at ABS North Campus.  All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of the Parent Council and are welcome to attend!   If you would like to submit a topic for the agenda, please send an email to Parent Council Katy Whiteheart or Stephanie Smith  by Wednesday 2/14. We look forward to seeing you there! You can also join virtually at Join Zoom Meeting


Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).


Spring Break camp at ABS

Film Camp! Action!  

This 3-day camp is sure to make spring break creative and fun! Students  (Grades 5-8) will learn the basics of acting in front of the camera but also the work that goes into being behind the lens of the camera. Students will create a short film by the end of the camp, using a green screen, their own script and storyboard, props, and of course acting.  Register here.

Monday-Wednesday, 9-2pm, April 1st-3rd 2024


Around Town…

Happy Hill Neighborhood Association Art Anthology Curated by Kayyum Allah

January 19 - February 18 @the Main Gallery of Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts-Free

The HHNA Art Anthology was founded in 1999 and established in 2018 by Kayyum Allah, a local artist and resident of the Happy Hill Community. He was born and raised in Happy Hill and now serves as a Tour Guide and Historian of the oldest African American Community in North Carolina. Happy Hill has a rich history with an invaluable contribution to the development of Old Salem and Winston-Salem. Located less than a mile away from Old Salem, Happy Hill grew and prospered as a progressive and industrious community, despite segregation laws and systematic racism. Much of Happy Hill was destroyed, torn down, or removed over time. Today, many efforts are in place to rebuild and reclaim the rich history of the community.


Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: